Teaching & Learning in Digital Spaces

New Professional Certificate for Teachers, Education Managers, Learning Science Designers

Much had been learned – prior to coronavirus – about what works in the world of online teaching. The global pandemic underlines the urgency of extracting lessons from the past generation of research, yielding effective practices for teachers, education administrators, and digital designers.

UC Berkeley is offering a three-course certificate in teaching and learning in digital spaces, beginning August 2020. All courses will be offered exclusively online. An optional four-day seminar on the Berkeley campus will be hosted by participating professors in the summer of 2021.

The program welcomes school-level teachers; curriculum and digital designers; educators serving children; students currently enrolled at any UC; and education professionals actively working in the field.

Core topics include:

  • Fundamental principles for designing online courses, from engaging activities for preschool-age children to university courses.
  • Lessons from the learning sciences on how to best motivate students (and teachers) with digital materials.
  • Understanding the varieties of digital learning tools available and gaining an intuition for evaluating their quality and suitability through hands-on experience.
  • Combining ‘known knowledge' tied to the Common Core, and 'new knowledge' emerging from digital tools and spaces, with imaginative hands-on projects.
  • How to balance robust synchronous dialogue with groups of students, matched with more personal one-on-one sessions (without growing tired).
  • Creating transformative learning communities that serve students from diverse cultural, ethnic backgrounds.
  • Leveraging what’s known about child and adolescent development to pique student motivations.

The certificate program can be completed during a 12-month period. Online courses will be conducted mid-afternoon to early evening to better serve young professionals, teachers, education managers, and digital designers.

Each course varies from 3-4 units and costs about $750 per unit. The optional summer seminar can count as one of the three courses.

Let us know your interest in the certificate program by clicking “For More Information.” 


The slate of available online courses include:

Advanced Studies in Education: K-12 Computer and Data Science Education  [EDUC 150, Section 2, Fall 2020 only]

This course reviews a variety of pedagogical practices and research on the learning sciences. Against the backdrop of the California Bay Area’s vibrant technology scene, we will explore the conceptual, social, and civic dimensions of teaching and learning the computational and data sciences, along with integrating technology into various curriculum areas, and of the broader integration of computing into school subjects across the curriculum. Students will engage in a significant teaching project iterating and implementing computational activities of their own design. No programming experience required. (Prof. Michelle Wilkerson)

Digital Learning Environments [W161]

Covers the history of digital learning environments, with a focus on STEM platforms beginning with Intelligent Tutoring Systems of the 80’s and 90’s on through Open Educational Resources and the Massive Open Online Course phenomenon. We will explore narratives around the changing forms and functions of technology in digital spaces and the similarly changing role of the teacher and learner in those spaces. (Prof. Zach Pardos).

The Art of Making Meaning: Educational Perspectives on Literacy and Learning in a Global World [W140A]

This course combines theory and practice in the study of literacy and development. It will introduce sociocultural educational theory and research focused especially on literacy teaching and learning, and this literature will be examined in practice through participation in after-school programs. In addition, the course will contribute to an understanding of how literacy is reflected in race, culture, and ethnicity in the United States and how these symbolic systems shift in a digital world. (Prof. Glynda Hull)

Early Learning Environments for Diverse Learners [W165]

Reviews theories of child motivation, along with research on how digital strategies can scaffold from the curiosities and cultural knowledge of children. Details of effective strategies are explored, from digital leverage of Sesame Street to cooperative learning. (Prof. Bruce Fuller)

Exploring Digital Pedagogy [W141]

Over the past decade, online education and classroom-based education have begun to converge in the form of digital pedagogy. What does this mean for the role of the instructor, how a student learns, the design of a learning experience, the structure of education and the impact on society overall? This course provides the opportunity to explore issues that are impacting 21st century education and pedagogy due to the disruptive force of technology. (Prof. Glynda Hull)